Category Archives: Witness

Egg, Salt and Water Trick (OBJ LESSON)


Time

15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that it isn’t enough to be Christians in this world.  We need to have “saltiness” so that we help to make life better, heal those who are hurting and save those who are lost.  It uses a science experiment in which you can make an egg float by adding salt to water.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:13

 

Materials

  • Raw eggs (2)
  • Salt (a small bag)
  • Water (enough to fill two jars three-quarters full)
  • Food coloring (a darker color)
  • Vegetable oil (optional)
  • 2 clear jars (bigger is better for visibility, but smaller requires less salt)
  • Large spoon (1)
  • Table
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Set out your materials on a table at the front of the room.
  • Find the Bible passage, and highlight it or put a bookmark in that spot so that it will be easy to find later.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We are going to do an experiment with an egg, some salt, water, and food coloring.”  (Ask for two volunteers.)
  • “I need each of you to fill the jar in front of you three-fourths full with water.” (Help the volunteers if needed.)
  • “Now, add some food coloring to each jar, and stir until the water changes color.”  (Assist if needed.)
  • “Here are two normal eggs.  They haven’t been boiled or changed in any way.  They are straight from the chickens!”  (Hold up the eggs, and let your volunteers hold them so that they can affirm that they are normal.)
  • “If I put an egg into the water, will it float or sink?” (Acknowledge responses.  Then, let one volunteer carefully place the egg in the water.  It will sink.)
  • “The water in the jar represents the world (not earth but the sinful world that is not part of God’s Kingdom).”
  •  “The egg represents God’s children, whom He has called to be part of his Kingdom.”
  • “The world can be a dark place, and even a Christian can get lost in it if they act just like the world acts.”
  •  “The problem with this egg is that it sunk down into the world.”
  • “God doesn’t bring us to Him for us to just get lost in the world.  He has a bigger plan in mind.”
  • “The Bible says we are to be the salt of the earth.”  (Hold up the salt, and ask a volunteer to read Matthew 5:13.)
  • “Salt does several things.  It adds flavor to food.  It can heal wounds.  It can preserve meat.”
  • “God wants us to be like salt to the world.”
  • “He wants us to add flavor to life, which means that we should make life interesting and worth living for those around us.”
  • “He wants us to heal those who are hurting.”
  • “And God wants us to preserve – which means to save.  He wants us to help people know about Jesus so that they can be saved.” (Ask your second volunteer to use a spoon to remove the egg from the jar.  Then, have him or her pour several cups of salt into the water in his/her jar.)
  • “To be any good to the world, we have to mix in with it.”
  • “We won’t add flavor or heal or save if our saltiness stays in the bag.”
  • “We’ve got to mix with the world so that all the people can experience our saltiness.”  (Have volunteer thoroughly stir the salt and the water together.)
  • “When we are salty Christians, something interesting happens to us.”  (Have volunteer carefully place the egg back in the water.  If there is enough salt mixed with the water, the egg will float about half in-half out of the water.)
  • “The Bible teaches a principle that we are to be “in” the world but not “of” the world.”
  • “This means that God left us in the world after we were saved even though this is not our home or our kingdom.”
  • “He left us here so that we could bring more people to His Kingdom, and we do that not by sinking into the world and acting like it does but by being salty Christians, who add flavor, heal and save.”
  • “When we are salty Christians, God will lift us up so that others notice our saltiness and will want to know about our God, who made us that way.” (Ask volunteer to read Matthew 5:13 again.)
  • “The last part of Matthew 5:13 says that if we lose our saltiness, we aren’t good for anything and might as well just be thrown out.”
  • “Like the egg without the salt, we will sink down into the world, and no one will even know that a child of God is there.”
  • “But if we are salty, God will lift us up and make sure that people notice.”

 

Variation

For dramatic effect, you can also add vegetable oil.  It won’t mix with the water, and it gives the egg the look of being suspended between the two levels (heaven and earth).  You can point out that when we accept Christ into our lives, we are anointed (set apart for God’s purposes).  In Biblical times, anointings were done with oil.

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Filed under Evangelism, Salt of the earth, Science experiment, Testimony, Witness

Fish Tax (GAME)


 

Time

15 minutes
Description

Peter was worried about not being able to pay the required tax to the Temple.  Jesus knew what was bothering him even before Peter could say anything and told Peter to go fishing, which is what Peter did best.  In the mouth of the first fish Peter caught, he found a coin that allowed him to pay the tax for both Jesus and himself.  Children will “go fishing” in a pool and try to catch all the fish with coins before they catch too many without coins.

 

Materials

  • “Fishing pole” (You can use a simple dowel rod with a string attached and a magnet at the end of the string.)
    • Dowel rod
    • String (about 3-foot long)
    • Strong magnet
    • Tape to stick the string to the magnet (unless there is a way to tie them together)
    • Children’s plastic pool (the kind toddlers can sit in)
    • Flat, toy or paper fish with strong magnets attached (24 total – 8 of which should have coins taped or glued to the bottom)
      • Fish (24)
      • Magnets (24)
      • Coins (8)
      • Tape
      • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Create the fishing pole.
  • Tape magnets to all the fish.
  • Tape coins to eight of the fish.
  • Place all the fish at the bottom of the pool with the coins on the bottom.  Make sure to mix them up so that it won’t be too easy to find the fish with coins.  It’s okay for some to overlap.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

·      “One day, the tax collectors (the guys like Matthew, one of the apostles) from the Temple came up to Peter and asked, ‘Does your teacher pay the temple tax?’”

·      “Peter answered, ‘Of course he does!’ but the truth was, he wasn’t sure.”

·      “So he quickly went to see Jesus and ask Him about it.”

·      “But before Peter even had a chance to speak, Jesus knew what he was about to ask.”

·      “Jesus said, ‘Peter, so that we won’t offend the tax collectors, go down to the lake and throw in a fishing line.  Open the mouth of the first fish that you catch, and you will find a coin.  Take the coin and pay the tax for both of us.’”

·      “So Peter did just as Jesus said.”

·      “He went down to the lake and threw in a fishing line.”  (Pretend to cast your fishing pole.)

·      “Almost immediately, he felt a fish on his line, so he tugged at it as hard as he could and pulled the fish in.”  (Pretend to struggle reeling the fish in.  Be careful not to accidentally reveal one of the fish with the coin attached to the bottom.)

·      “When he opened the fish’s mouth, he found a four-drachma coin! (That’s a coin they used back then.)”

  • “That was just enough to pay both Jesus’s and Peter’s tax!”
  • “That’s amazing, right!”
  • “Well, let’s play a game based on this story.”
  • “Here’s how it works.”
  • “Each one of you will get three chances with this fishing pole to try to catch a fish with a coin attached.”
  • “If you catch a fish without a coin attached, you should put it back into the pool.”
  • “If you catch a fish with a coin, you can pull it out.”
  • “After three turns, we will let someone else try.”
  • “There are eight (8) fish with coins attached.”
  • “We will keep fishing until we catch all of them.”
  • “The one who catches the most wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then let the children play.  The first person to try can be the person with the next birthday.  After you’ve played the game, you can use the debrief questions below to reinforce the teaching points.)

Debrief

  1. Have you ever caught a fish with a coin in its mouth?
  2. Why do you think Jesus had Peter go fishing in order to pay the Temple tax for Peter and himself?
  3. What was Jesus trying to help Peter understand about who Jesus was?
  4. What should this experience teach Peter about worrying about things?
  5. What should we do when we are worried about some problem in our lives?

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Filed under faith, Game, Integrity, Jesus, Peter, Witness

Woman at the Well, The (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches how Jesus worked through a woman that society had given up on to bless her community and draw them to Christ.  The woman at the well was a Samaritan, a woman and a sinner – three reasons a Jewish rabbi should not have been talking with her, but Jesus didn’t care.  He saw the best in her and partnered with her to bring a community to know Him.

 

Scriptures

  • John 4:1-30, 39-43

 

Materials

  • Jar for woman at the well
  • Something to represent Jacob’s Well (This could be simply a piece of cardboard with bricks drawn on the side that faces the audience, or you can be more elaborate if you have the time and resources.)
  • Tape
  • OPTIONAL – Notecards for script.
  • Cans/glasses of cola, tea/coffee, energy drink, juice, water
  • Table to set everything on
  • Two pieces of fabric to use as veils for drinks
  • Glasses with pictures or other representations of money, fame, power, love, cars, other religions and a Bible. (There are pictures for each of these in the downloadable file mentioned below.)
  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Woman at the Well – Spiritual – Physical Signs”
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Select a drama team (Jesus and the woman at the well) to act out the roles in the story and share the teaching notes with them so that they can be prepared to act them out.  You might want to write their lines on notecards so that they will have them available when they are acting.
  • Set up “Jacob’s Well” at the front of the teaching area.
  • Print out “Spiritual and Physical Thirst Signs.”
  • Put each picture from the “Spiritual and Physical Thirst” file in a separate glass.
  • Set up a table with all the different drinks (cola, tea/coffee, energy drink, juice, water) on them, and put a veil over it so that it cannot be seen until you reveal it.
  • Under a separate veil (but on the same table if you only have one table), set up the “spiritual thirst quenchers” (power, cars, different religions, money, houses, love, entertainment, drugs, God’s Word –pick which ones you want to use) in separate glasses.
  • Put a piece of tape on the back of the “Spiritual” and “Physical” signs so that you will be able to stick them to your props.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

  • “I want to tell you story.” (Get volunteer to read John 4:1-3.)
  • “Jesus had some enemies, the Pharisees, in particular, who were trying to cause Him problems.”
  • “They didn’t like that He was becoming even more popular than John the Baptizer.”
  • “So Jesus decided to return to Galilee, where it would be easier for him to teach and train His disciples.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:4-6.)
  • “That’s strange.  Jesus went through Samaria.”
  • “The Jewish people hated the Samaritans, because they used to be Jewish but married foreigners and worshipped foreign gods that weren’t real.”
  • “Just about any other rabbi and his disciples would have hated the Samaritans so much that they would have gone AROUND Samaria just to avoid them.”
  • “But not Jesus!  He went straight through.”
  • “He stopped to rest, and His disciples went into town to get something to eat.”
  • “But Jesus didn’t just stop here to rest.  He had a meeting planned.”
  • “The time and the place He chose for the meeting were important.  It was about noon – the hottest time of the day – and He was at Jacob’s well, where people came to get water.  The other attendee was just about to arrive.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:7 up to the point Jesus starts speaking.)
  • (Have Drama Team enter.  Samaritan Woman comes to the well, carrying her jar on her shoulder.)
  • (Jesus says to her: “Will you give me a drink?”)
  • (Samaritan Woman: “Why are you asking me for a drink?  I’m a Samaritan and a woman.  Jews don’t talk with Samaritans.”)
  • “Jews weren’t supposed to talk to Samaritans, and Jewish men (particularly Jewish religious men) were not supposed to have private conversations with a woman.”
  • “Also, we don’t want to miss that she is coming to the well by herself at noon, the hottest part of the day.  This wasn’t the custom.”
  • “Women went to go get water in the early morning or in the late evening, when it was cooler.”
  • “Pulling up well water was difficult work.  You had to let your jar down 30 or 40 feet and then pull it up again full of water, and you can bet, it was HEAVY!”
  • “Then you had to carry it home, which was probably a mile or more away.”
  • “And getting water was a social time for the women.”
  • “They all went together and talked and laughed and shared stories during these times – but not this woman.”
  • “This woman didn’t feel comfortable around the other women.  They didn’t like her, and they made fun of her and talked about all the bad things she had done.”
  • “So, it was no wonder that she came at the worst part of the day; she wanted to avoid everyone else.”
  • “This woman was what everyone called ‘a sinner.’”
  • “So there are three reasons Jesus isn’t supposed to talk to her – she’s a Samaritan, a woman and a sinner.”
  • “Jesus is breaking all kinds of man-made rules here.”
  • (Jesus: “If you knew who you are talking to, you would have asked for living water.”)
  • “Jesus keeps doing unusual things!”
  • “What is He talking about?  Jesus is saying that if she had known that she was talking to God, she would have asked for Him to help her.”
  • “He says that He has this stuff called, ‘living water,’ to give her.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and ask, ‘What dat?’”
  • “Well, it’s not the water you can touch or see.  That’s what the woman came for.  That’s why she has her water jar.”
  • “No, this kind of water isn’t physical water; it’s spiritual water.”  (Stick “Physical” sign to Jacob’s Well.  Stick “Spiritual” sign on Bible, and show it to the audience.)
  • “Jesus does this all the time.  He’s taking something that’s physical that she already knows about, like water and being thirsty, and comparing it to something spiritual that she doesn’t know about.”
  • “He’s saying that just like you can fix physical thirstiness by drinking water, you can fix spiritual thirst by getting some living water.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and ask, ‘Can your spirit get thirsty?’”
  • “You bet it can!”
  • “God made each and every one of us with a spiritual thirst for Him, because He didn’t want us to be satisfied living without Him.”  (Unveil different beverages.  Move the “Physical” sign over, and put it on the table under the beverages.)
  • “If you were physically thirsty, which one of these would you drink?”
  • “Well, any of these will work a little, but the best option is water.”  (Hold up each of these as you talk about them.)
    • “Sodas have lots of sugar, so they make us fat and increase our chance of getting diabetes.”
    • “Juices taste good, but they have lots of sugar, too.”
    • “I like coffee and tea, but they raise my blood pressure.”
    • “And this energy drink will wake me up, but it’s full of sugar, as well.”
    • “Water is the best, because your body is over 60% water.  For kids, it’s actually higher than that.”
    • “When God made water, He made a perfect solution for our physical thirst.”
  • “Just like we’ve invented all kinds of ways to satisfy our physical thirst, we’ve also invented lots of ways to satisfy our spiritual thirst.” (Unveil glasses with various “spiritual thirst quenchers” in them.  Move the label for “Spiritual” over, and put it on the table under these “thirst quenchers.”  Hold up each of these as you refer to them.)
    • “Some people think having lots of money will make the thirst go away.”
    • “Some think having a nice car, or a big house will do it.”
    • “Some try to make it go away with love – they have lots of boyfriends or girlfriends.”
    • “Some do it with other religions, and some do it with entertainment.”
    • “But the problem is, none of these will satisfy us for long.  They just fill us up and dull our spiritual sense so that we can’t tell where the original thirst is coming from.”
    • “There is only one thing that will satisfy our spiritual thirst – the Bible.”
    • “This is what Jesus was talking about when He offered the Samaritan woman living water.”
    • “Once you have God’s Spirit in your heart, His Word will bubble up in you like a spring of water, and you will never be spiritually thirsty again.”
  • “So, that’s what He’s talking about, but unfortunately, the woman didn’t understand yet.”
  • (Samaritan Woman: “You don’t even have a jar.  How will you draw up this “living water?”  Are you claiming to be greater than our father, Jacob, who dug the well and drank from it himself?”)
  • “She still thinks He is talking about physical water.  ‘You don’t even have a jar!  You must think you’re better than the one who dug the well if you can get water out of it without a jar!’”
  • “So Jesus tries to help her understand.”
  • (Jesus: “Physical water quenches your thirst for a little while, but I’m offering you a special kind of water that will quench your thirst forever.”) 
  • (Samaritan Woman: “Give me some of that!  Then I won’t have to come here every day.”)
  • “Now, watch this!  Jesus is about to do something really unusual.”
  • (Jesus: “Go get your husband and come back.”)
  • (Samaritan Woman: “I don’t have a husband.”)
  • (Jesus: “You speak the truth.  You have had five husbands, and the one you’re living with isn’t your husband.”)
  • “What’s Jesus doing?  He’s testing her to see if she will be honest with Him.  He’s willing to give her what she’s asked for, but she has to pass the test first.”
  • “You see, Jesus knows why she comes to the well at noon.  He knows about the shame she feels in her heart because of all the men who have told her that they don’t want her.”
  • “She’s had five husbands who have each divorced her, and the man she’s with now doesn’t even respect her enough to marry her.  That’s why the other women at the well gossip about her.”
  • “Jesus is putting his finger on the deepest wound in her life, but He only touches it to heal it.”
  • “And to her credit, she tells the truth, so Jesus commends her for her honesty and He lets her know that He knows everything about her.”
  • (Samaritan Woman: “I know Messiah is coming, and when He comes, He will tell us all things.”)
  • (Jesus: “I who speak to you am He.”)
  • “This is big!  This is huge!  This is the only time in Scripture where you will see Jesus come right out and say that He is the Messiah.  He told people plenty of times that He is God, but He didn’t use the title ‘Messiah,’ because too many misunderstood what it meant.”
  • “They thought that Messiah would be a king who would come wage war against the Romans, but Jesus didn’t come to judge the earth; He came to save it!”
  • “So, the only person He tells that He is the Messiah is a sinful Samaritan woman – someone He wasn’t even supposed to be talking to!”
  • “Jesus saw the best in her.  And He made her one of God’s children that very day.”  (Drama Team sits.)
  • “The woman at the well joined Jesus’ team that day, and she was so excited, she left her water jar behind and brought all her neighbors to join Jesus’ team, too.”  (Have volunteer read John 4:28-30.)
  • “She was so excited that she forgot what people thought about her.  She forgot her shame, and she told everyone she could about Jesus.”
  • “And this is the part that really excites me!” (Have volunteer read John 4:39-42.)
  • “This Samaritan woman was the most disrespected member of her community, but her excitement about Jesus was contagious and people had to believe her because she was so convinced that Jesus was the Messiah!”
  • “After two days of listening to Jesus, they believed that he was the Savior of the world.”
  • “Jesus can use anyone to carry His message – even those with the most terrible sins and reputations.”
  • “All that He asks is that we believe in Him and share what we know in our hearts with those around us.”

 

Rhyme Time

Even when our life’s a mess

Jesus will use it to heal and bless.

 

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Filed under Bible study, Evangelism, Grace, Jesus, Lesson, Witness

Reflecting God’s Glory (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that we have no light of our own but that we are called to reflect God’s light to the world.  It uses the story of Moses’ glowing face when he came down from Mount Sinai after meeting with God to make the point that the more time we spend with God, the more we will reflect His glory.

 

Audience

  • Children, Youth, Adults

 

Scriptures

  • Exodus 34:29-35
  • Matthew 5:14-16
  • John 8:12
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

Materials

  • Small mirrors or other reflective surfaces (at least 5-6, but you may want more if you want the entire audience to participate)
  • A bright light source and power to make it work (a large flashlight or lamp would work)
  • A barrier behind which you will hide the light source (It should hide the light source from the audience.)
  • Something (or someone) that can hold the light source steady and point it toward the front of the room.
  • Anything you need to darken the room (You will need to block light coming from windows, doors and artificial light sources.)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Set up the barrier near the front of the room but off to the side.  It should allow the light source to show toward the front of the room but be concealed to all other parts of the room.
  • Set up the light source and angle the light so that it points toward the front of the room.  Turn the light on before you begin your lesson.
  • Block light coming from any other light source (but leave the lights on until the appropriate time to turn them off in your lesson).
  • Ask someone to turn off the lights for you when you give the signal.
  • Set the mirrors or reflective surfaces near the front of the room where you can access them easily.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “One of the most important things we can do as Christians is to give glory to God.”
  • “In the book of Exodus (2nd book of the Bible in the OT), it tells the story of Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets that had the ‘Ten Commandments’ on them.”  (Have someone read Exodus 34:29-35.)
  • “Because Moses had been spending so much time with God up on the mountain, when he came down, his face glowed with the glory of the Lord!”
  • “It was so bright that the Israelites were afraid of Moses at first, and he had to put a veil over his face when he talked to them.”
  • “Paul talks about this story in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (have someone read the Scripture), but he says we should act differently than Moses.”
  • “We shouldn’t put a veil over God’s glory; we should let it reflect off of us as brightly as possible.”
  • “In fact, he says that as we are being transformed to look more and more like Jesus, we will reflect more and more of God’s glory.”
  • “It’s important to remember, though, that this glory isn’t from us.”
  • “We don’t have any light of our own.”
  • “All our light is reflected light from God.”
  • “We should be like this mirror.”  (Hold up a mirror to show the audience.)
  • “How much light does the mirror emit by itself?”  (Acknowledge responses, and lead them to the correct answer if they get it wrong.)
  • “The truth is that the mirror cannot create light; it can only reflect light.”
  • “Let me show you what I mean.”  (Have your volunteer turn off the lights.  Be careful not to angle your mirror toward your hidden light source.  You don’t want it to reflect any light yet.)
  • “What happened?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “When the lights went out, you couldn’t really see the mirror anymore.”
  • “Why is that?”  (Acknowledge responses, and guide them toward the right answer – it doesn’t emit any light of its own.)
  • “The mirror only reflects – it doesn’t create light.”
  • “But who has noticed that there is a light source somewhere in the room?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Right!  There is a light coming from over there!”
  • “Now, none of you can actually see the light source, but you can see the evidence of the light source.”
  • “What I mean is that you don’t know what is actually making the light, but you can see what it does – it makes things brighter and better.”
  • “God is like that for most of the people in the world.”
  • “We can’t see Him, but we can see what He does – He makes things brighter and better.”
  • “He pushes back darkness and shines His glory in the world.”
  • “Most people don’t know what the Light Source of the world is, but Christians do!”
  • “If you are a Christian, you know where the light in the world comes from; it comes from Jesus.”
  • “In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
  • “That’s pretty cool – we’ll have the light of life and won’t walk in darkness.”  (Angle your mirror so that it catches the light, but point the light away from the audience.)
  • “But we aren’t supposed to just keep the light for ourselves.”
  • “Jesus was the light in the world while He was here on earth, but now He has gone back to heaven, and no one can see Him.”
  • “That’s why he tells His followers in Matthew 5:14, ‘You are the light of the world.’” (Have someone read Matthew 5:14-16.)
  • “He tells them, ‘Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’”
  • “We can’t keep this light to ourselves – we have to let it shine!”  (Angle your mirror so that the light falls on someone in the audience.)
  • “Here’s what’s great!  When you let the light of Jesus shine on someone, there’s a good chance that they will want see that light for themselves.”  (Invite the person you shined the light on to come to the front of the room.  Give him or her a mirror, and show him or her how to catch the light and angle it toward someone else in the audience.)
  • “If they do, then they will start to reflect the light of Jesus in the world, and the person they shine it on might want to see the Light Source for himself/herself.”  (Invite the person your volunteer shined the light on to come get a mirror and repeat the process.  You can do this as many times as you would like to multiply the number of people shining the light of Jesus.)
  • “How cool is this!”
  • “By shining the light of Jesus out into the world, we help people recognize how much God loves them.”
  • “When people know how much God loves them, they usually will want to see the Light Source for themselves.”
  • “But we can’t keep the light to ourselves.”  (Have all the mirror-holders angle their mirrors away from the audience.)
  • “That would be selfish and disobedient to what God has asked us to do, and no one would know how much God loves them.”  (Have them angle their mirrors back toward the audience and move them around so that the light dances around the room.)
  • “Jesus tells us how we can reflect His light.”
  • “He says in Matthew 14-16 that when we do good deeds because of our love of God, His light will reflect off of us, and people will praise God.”
  • “So we’ve got to find ways to do good things for people who don’t know God.”
  • “Right now, I want you to quickly think of one good thing you could do for someone (especially someone who doesn’t know God).”
  • “Tell the person next to you what you thought of.”  (Allow a few moments for them to share their idea.)
  • “Who will actually go and do what you thought of?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Excellent!  That is how we can reflect God’s glory in the world!!”  (Thank your volunteers, and let them return to their seats as you have your volunteer turn the lights back on.)

 

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Filed under God's Glory, Great Commission, Jesus, Light of the world, Moses, Object Lesson, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness

Conversation Starters for Teenage Girls (SCENARIOS)


Audience

Teen Girls

Time

30-45 minutes
Description

These scenarios are intended to provide conversation starters for teen girls and a skilled and caring mentor.  They can also be used in group settings, but an adult guide should still be present to provide perspective and wisdom.  The cards address many challenging situations in which young girls might find themselves.

 

Scriptures

o   N/A

 

Materials

o  Scenarios worksheets (attached – 1 per person) or “Conversation Starters for Teenage Girls – Cards” (a file that you can download at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.

o  Something to write with (if you use the worksheet – 1 per person)

o  Something to write on (if you use the worksheet – 1 per person)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Review the scenarios and delete or pull out any that you don’t want to address.

o  Print the worksheets (1 per person) or the scenario cards (1 per group)

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There are many challenging situations facing teenage girls today.”
  • “If you haven’t thought about how you will prepare for them or respond to them, they could surprise you, and you might find yourself under pressure to make the wrong decision.”
  • “Today, we are going to ask you to think about some of these situations and give your opinion about how you should prepare for or respond to them.”  (If you are using the worksheet, pass it out now, and let the girls have 15-20 minutes to complete it.  You can then discuss their answers as a group, or you can have them turn them in so that you can review them before discussing them at your next meeting.  If you are using the cards, lay them face-down in the center of the group, and have the girls take turns drawing one and responding to it.  Then, allow the other girls to share their thoughts, as well.  Sometimes what they say will be enough on the topic, but at other times, you may need to redirect them by sharing your perspective.  Whenever possible, reference biblical principles.)

 

SCENARIO WORKSHEET

Take some time, and read through each of the following scenarios.  Write how you think you should handle each situation on a separate sheet of paper.  Be sure to number your answers.

 

1.     You and your boyfriend have been dating for three months.  Recently, he has begun to bring up the subject of sex to get your opinion on it.  He says that he wouldn’t ever want to do anything that you didn’t want to do, but you can tell that he is hoping you will say it is okay.

2.     One of your girlfriends confessed to you that she has been thinking about suicide.  Her parents have been fighting for years and are now going through a divorce.  She is unpopular at school, and the boys make fun of her because she is heavy.  Recently, she has even stopped turning in her homework, and her failing grades are getting her into trouble with her parents and with school administrators.

3.     At a party, a popular girl invites you to join her and her friends as they take hits of acid.  You initially say, “No, thanks….I’m okay,” but they begin to make fun of you for being so “straight” and “pure.”  They laugh at you and tell you it’s time to grow up and stop being such a little girl.

4.     You are out driving on a date with a cute boy, and he reaches across you to open the glove compartment of his car.  As he does so, his arm brushes your chest.  You are embarrassed, but he is very apologetic, so you say it was no big deal.  However, an hour later, he does the same thing at dinner as he reaches for the ketchup.

5.     You and a girlfriend are out at the mall.  As she reaches to pick out a bracelet that she likes, you see that she has several dark bruises on her arm under her shirtsleeve.  When you ask her about it, she says that she bumped into something, but you aren’t convinced.  The bruises look like finger marks from her arm being squeezed too hard. You keep asking her about it until she confesses that her boyfriend got angry the other day and shook her a little.  She assures you that it’s the first time anything like this has ever happened.

6.     The word is out all over school about a famous celebrity sex video, and you are surprised to find that someone has sent you the link through email.  Your friend is watching over your shoulder when you open the email and tells you that you should click on the link.  “Everyone has seen it except us,” she says.

7.     Report cards come out, and you are surprised to see that you got a “B” in a class that you should have failed.  You didn’t turn in three assignments this semester, and you’ve been dreading getting your grades.  What was even more surprising is that your teacher commented on how much you’ve improved in getting your homework done.  You’re pretty sure that he made some kind of mistake in his grade book, but you are reluctant to bring it up, because an “F” means you will be grounded and miss this weekend’s social.

8.     A friend has started to look tired all the time.  She has dark patches under her eyes, and she no longer seems to have any energy or spark.  She has also been losing a lot of weight, which is confusing, because she eats more than you or any of your other friends.  You’ve begun to wonder if she might be throwing up whenever she goes to the bathroom after you eat out together.

9.     It is obvious to you that the girls who wear the tightest clothing and the shortest skirts get the most attention from the guys.  You’ve always been modest in what you wear, but it hurts that none of the guys is ever interested in you.  One guy even asked you why you wear “old lady” clothes.

10.  You’re out at the movies with a guy.  When he opens his wallet to pay for your tickets, you notice that he has several condoms in it.

11.  You catch your older brother looking at a pornographic magazine in his room.  He first begs you not to tell, then threatens to get you back if you say anything to Mom or Dad.

12.  You wake up late one night when you hear a noise in the dark.  You look out your window and see your older sister sneaking back into her room.  You look at the clock and see that it’s 4:30 a.m. The next morning, your parents tell you to wake up your sister, and you smell alcohol on her breath when you go to get her.

13.  You’ve got a new teacher – a young guy just out of college, and he is really cute.  All the girls are talking about him.  One day, he asks you to stay for a few minutes after class so that he can talk to you about your last paper.  He is very excited about your writing abilities and tells you that you have talent.  This meeting is followed by several others, and he offers to coach you to help you really develop your writing skills.  You have been meeting a few times a week after school for several weeks, and one day at your meeting, he reaches out and puts his hand on yours.

14.  One of your girlfriends just found out that she is pregnant.  She says that there is no way she can have a baby.  Her parents would do something crazy like sending her to live with her aunt in another state.  Her boyfriend is trying to help her raise the money for the abortion pill, and she has asked if you can help out with a little money.

15.  One of the girls in your first period class is upset, because someone stole her iPod out of her backpack.  This girl is really irritating and has always been mean to you, and you are a little amused to see that something bad has finally happened to her.  Unfortunately, you know who stole the iPod.  You saw one of your good friends listening to it yesterday after school, and you know it is the same iPod because of a scratch that it has on the back cover.

16.  You are at a school social with some friends.  When it is time to leave, you realize that the friend who drove you there has been drinking and is in no condition to drive.  You offer to drive for her, but she refuses and says that she is just fine.

17.  You are at a concert with some friends, and someone passes a joint down the row of seats.  You expect your friends to pass it back the other way, but to your surprise, they all take a hit and then pass it to you.  When you start to refuse, they begin to tease you and put the joint in your face.  They say that you are going to get high off the second-hand smoke anyway – why not enjoy it all the way?

18.  You’ve told your parents that you are going to a sleepover at a friend’s house, but when you get there, you find out that the girls have planned a secret trip to a local dance club.  They are busy getting dressed and putting on make-up so that they look “legal,” and one of the girls says that she is a good friend with the gatekeeper at the door.  He promised that he would let them all in as long as they looked old enough.

19.  While at the mall one weekend, you and your girlfriend meet a couple of cute guys.  They are from your school, but you don’t really know them.  You eat together at one of the fast-food places, and then the guys ask if the two of you can give them a ride home.  When you hesitate, they say, “Come on, it’s not far from here.  It will only take you a few minutes.”

20.  You get a friend request from someone on Facebook.  You don’t recognize the name, but they have lots of the same friends as you, so you approve the request.  As soon as you do, the person starts to chat with you.  You start to chat while looking up his profile.  Unfortunately, you still don’t recognize him, but he looks pretty normal in his photos and he goes to the same high school as you.  He is asking you questions about what you like to do on the weekends and when you aren’t working on homework.

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Filed under Challenges, Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Coping skills, courage, Daily walk, Decision making, Fear, leadership, Obedience, Priorities, purity, Relationships, self-image, Self-worth, Sex, Sexual Purity, struggles, temptation, test, Witness

Lazarus (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures and answer the questions below.

John 11:1-44 (entire chapter)

1.    Why do you think Jesus waited before going to Mary and Martha?

2.    Have you ever had a time in your life when you desperately prayed for God’s help but God chose not to give you what you asked for?

3.    What do you think God’s purposes are in these situations?

Now, think back through the story, and put yourself in the role of Lazarus.  Instead of focusing on Lazarus’ physical sickness and death, though, now focus on your spiritual sickness and death before you became a Christian.

4.    How is the story about Lazarus’ resurrection like your own story of spiritual rebirth?

5.    What insights does this give you about the story?

 

Facilitator Notes for Large Group Debrief

o  Like Lazarus, we were dead, but our sickness which led to death was spiritual rather than physical.

o  Jesus waited until we were aware of our deadness before He brought us into life everlasting.

o  Releasing Lazarus from the grave was a visual representation of what Jesus was about to do for all of us.

o  When Jesus rolled away the stone from His own grave in the garden, He rolled away the stone for all of humanity.  Death could no longer hold us!

o  The stone that blocked our way to new life has been rolled away.

o  Jesus calls our name and invites us to come out to enjoy new life with Him.

o  Unfortunately, many of us chose to stay in our tombs rather than respond to Jesus’ call for us to come out.

o  As long as we stayed in our graves, we were still dead in our sin.

o  But for those of us who responded when Jesus called our names, we have new life!

o  But that’s not the entire story of how we got free, because even though we had been freed from the power of death, we, like Lazarus, were still bound in our grave clothes.

o  Satan had wrapped us up pretty tightly.

o  Many of us emerged from the grave, but we weren’t truly free yet.  The sins and scars of our past still held us.  We wanted to be free to enjoy the life that Jesus promised, but we didn’t know how to separate ourselves from those grave clothes.

o  Some of us are still bound today.  We still don’t know how to get free of our past.  What we did or what was done to us prevents us from experiencing the full joy of our new freedom.

o  Like the burial custom practiced in Lazarus’ time, Satan tied our hands and our feet, wrapped us in grave clothes and veiled our faces.

o  He tied our hands, because it’s with our hands that we do God’s WORK.

o  He tied our feet, because it’s with our feet that we WALK with the Lord.

o  He veiled our faces, because it’s with our faces that we bear WITNESS to God’s glory.*

o  Many of us are alive in Christ but still tied up in sin, guilt, shame, pain, or ignorance that keeps us from our WORK, our WALK and our WITNESS with and for God.

o  It sometimes takes a long time to recognize our freedom, and we need the help of the Church to get free.  We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to do for us what those who witnessed Lazarus raised from the dead did for Lazarus.  We need our brothers and sisters to “Take off (our) grave clothes and let (us) go!”

o  We can’t get free ourselves.  This is part of the role of the Church.

o  So, as we see other brothers and sisters emerge from the grave, we need to step forward and help them in whatever way God gives us.  We need to get them free from their grave clothes.

o  And if you are still bound and don’t know how to get free, don’t try to do it alone.  Turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to Christian professionals who can help you to cut those bounds and walk free in Christ.

 

* There are at least three important veils in Scripture. Moses wore his veil to hide God’s glory when he came down from the mountain, because the sinful people couldn’t stand the bright holiness of God. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom because all could now have access to a holy God through Christ. Satan wants to keep us veiled like Lazarus, but it’s no longer necessary to hide God’s glory.

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Filed under Daily walk, Devotion, God's Will, Healing, Jesus, Martha, Mary, Resurrection, Witness

Contagious Contact (Obj Lesson)


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that spending time with God can have a contagious impact on everyone around us.

Scriptures

  • Exodus 34:28-29

Materials

  • One large jar of gold glitter
  • A drop cloth or piece of fabric (about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Open the Bible up to the passage in Exodus, and sprinkle some gold glitter onto the page.
  • Open up the drop cloth or sheet, and sprinkle a large amount of glitter all around.
  • Carefully conceal the drop cloth / sheet or fold it up and put it aside.
  • Arrange for two helpers to come and help you open the sheet when you give the cue.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Here’s what happens when we spend time with God.”  (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
  • “When you read your Bible or spend time in prayer or worship, a little bit of God rubs off on you.”  (Have the volunteer read Exodus 34:28-29 out loud.  It’s okay if he/she has to move some of the glitter out of the way in order to read the passage.)
  • “Moses spent 40 days on the top of a mountain in the presence of God, and when he came back down, his face glowed with the glory of God.”
  • “When you spend time with God, your face may not actually glow, but God’s glory still shines through you.”  (Have volunteer put his/her fingertips into the gold glitter and then touch his/her face.)
  • “Then, as you go out and live your life, everyone you come in contact with gets a little bit of contact with the glory of God.” (Have the volunteer go into the audience and shake hands with a few people and then return.)
  • Now, if you spend time with God every day, a lot of His glory is going to rub off on you.” (Have volunteer put his/her entire hands into the glitter and then touch his/her face.)
  • “Now when you go out and live your life, you’re going to really bless people with the glory of God.  Their lives will be better, because they had contact with you after you had spent time with God.”  (Have volunteer go out and shake hands with different people this time and then return.)
  • “But what if, like Moses, you spent a lot of time praising and worshipping God, praying to Him and reading His Word?”
  • “What would that look like?”
  • “I think it would look a little like this.”  (Have the two helpers you selected before your lesson come and lay out the drop cloth or sheet with glitter on it.  Then, have your volunteer lay down on it and roll around a few times.  When they are pretty well covered in glitter, have them go around hugging people.)
  • “The more time we spend with God each day, the more we will be able to share His glory with those we come in contact with.”
  • “As Christians, we should always leave people, places and things better than they were when we found them.”

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Filed under Annointing, Bible study, blessing, Christianity, Daily walk, Great Commission, light, Light of the world, Love, Moses, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, sanctification, Shekinah Glory, spiritual disciplines, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness